If you’ve ever had a leaky single-handle bathtub faucet, you know how much of a pain it can be. Aside from causing you to waste lots of water and increasing your water bill, it can also create a constantly wet environment in your bathroom and promote the growth of mold and mildew. Fortunately, if you have this problem, you can take several steps to fix it and get your bathtub faucet in good shape again. Here are some of the things you can do:
Gather The Tools You Need
Before doing anything else, get your toolbox and take out the things you’ll be using. These include an Allen wrench, screwdrivers (Philips and flathead), and pliers (adjustable and needle-nose). Don’t forget to get rags and white vinegar. You can also buy new gaskets and O-rings from your local hardware store if you know exactly what size you need.
Turn Off The Water Supply
Once you have everything you need, turn off either your house’s main water supply or just the valve that supplies water to your bathroom. Make sure to open your bathtub faucet to let all the remaining water out; you don’t want the water to gush out like Old Faithful while you’re fixing the faucet!
Prepare Your Work Area
Place a rag on the drain to catch any small parts you might drop and prevent them from falling through and ending up in the pipes. You can also lay a piece of paper on the tub or on the floor and put the faucet parts on it as you disassemble them. This way, you can keep on the components all in one place and know which one you should put back in first when you reassemble the faucet.
Disassemble Your Faucet
Use your Philips screwdriver to remove the screw that holds the bathtub faucet handle. Once it’s out, use your needle-nose pliers to pull out the retaining pin and the cartridge. (Some cartridges are held in place by a collar, which you can take off using your adjustable pliers.) Inspect the cartridge; if it’s coated in mineral deposits, soak it in white vinegar for 24 hours to remove them. These deposits may be preventing your faucet from sealing properly and causing it to leak.
Replace Anything That Needs To Be Replaced
If you notice that the cartridge is cracked, you’ll need to replace it with a new one. The same thing holds true for old O-rings and rubber gaskets. Even if they don’t appear worn out, it’s better to replace them now instead of later; after all, how often do you have the extra time to disassemble and reassemble your faucet?
But don’t just use any kind of O-ring and gasket; before installing them, check if they’re the right size and shape. Using the wrong parts can lead to even more leaks and prevent your faucet from functioning properly.
Reassemble And Test
After cleaning your cartridge and doing the necessary replacements, it’s time to reassemble your bathtub faucet. Make sure to put everything back in the right order and screw everything tightly. Once you’re done, test the faucet and see if it still leaks. If it does, it’s definitely the right time to call a professional plumber and let him handle the problem.
Use these tips now and let them help you fix your leaky single-handed bathtub faucet!